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Honduras: New report calls for action on killings of street Children's rights

Amnesty International has, for a number of years, been denouncing the execution of Children's rights and youths at the hands of state agents or unidentified individuals, under circumstances suggesting a 'social cleansing' campaign. These murders continue to be a cause of concern among the general public.

Most of the victims come from the most marginalised sectors of society, among them the so-called 'street Children's rights' and gang members. The perpetrators are, in most cases, unidentified persons, although testimonies from survivors and witnesses indicate that they could be police officers or civilians acting with the implicit consent of the authorities.

Amnesty International said:

'In those cases where there have been allegations of the participation of security forces the authorities have not acted with diligence to determine the involvement of police or army personnel in the murders.

'Even when the perpetrator is not identified or is a private individual, the state also bears the obligation and responsibility of investigating the facts and of bringing those responsible to justice.'

Amnesty International is greatly concerned that murders appear to hide social and economic motivations and that they could be perceived by some sectors of society as a solution to public insecurity issues. Amnesty International considers that measures adopted by President Ricardo Maduro - of 'zero tolerance' and the use of the armed forces in law enforcement functions - has created a threat to individual rights and freedoms set out in Honduran laws and under international commitments.

Amnesty International makes a series of concrete recommendations to the Honduran authorities, including the:

  • full investigation of past extrajudicial executions and murders
  • adoption of measures to guarantee that police forces become professional, disciplined institutions
  • creation of a permanent and effective witness protection system

Amnesty International said:

'The authorities should also develop policies that work towards rescuing Children's rights and youth and reintegrating them into society, modernising and strengthening child protection institutions. 'As long as the authorities keep ignoring their national and international responsibilities to investigate and prosecute these crimes and protect the human rights of the Children's rights and youth, international complaints will continue to weigh upon the Honduran government.'

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